Guinness Kerry National Handicap Chase | 3m | 4yo+ | RTV/TG4
Ten years have passed since Charles Byrnes lifted the Guinness Kerry National trophy with Alfa Beat and he will be hoping that history repeats itself as Doctor Duffy bids to follow up his McHale Mayo National heroics on Wednesday.
Up 10lb for that determined success under local rider Kevin Brouder, the seven-year-old heads the early markets for the €150,000 prize (worth €200,000 last year).
Since 1987, there have been just two winning favourites in the Listowel showpiece, one of whom was the mighty Dorans Pride, who carried 12st when winning at 5-4 in 1997.
There is no shortage of dangers to the market leader, though. Cabaret Queen, one of three runners for Willie Mullins, and the Edward O'Grady-trained The West's Awake arrive here on the back of cracking runs when third and fourth in the Galway Plate.
Spyglass Hill, part of a potential four-pronged attack from last year's winning trainer Henry de Bromhead, ran no sort of race behind those rivals at Ballybrit but has ability and may be well treated off 146.
He is the mount of Rachael Blackmore, while Robbie Power rides Kim Muir fourth Plan Of Attack, who must have very solid claims off 10st 6lb.
Cheltenham Festival hero Ravenhill has not been seen since landing the National Hunt Chase in March and Gordon Elliott has called on the services of 7lb claimer Rob James to offset his career-high mark of 153.
What they say
Charles Byrnes, trainer of Doctor Duffy
He's in good form but it's a tough ask – we're happy to be here after struggling to win a beginners' chase for most of the summer. He's a tough horse and the visor has made a big difference since we put it on him at Kilbeggan two starts ago.
Henry de Bromhead, trainer of Spyglass Hill, Plan Of Attack, Kupatana and Minella Times
Spyglass Hill seems in great form so hopefully he can bounce back from his run at Galway. Nothing obvious came to light afterwards but our horses probably weren't running to their best at the time. Plan Of Attack has been running well in big staying handicap chases and seems in great form. We were delighted with Kupatana's run at Killarney last time. Minella Times is a reserve and hasn't run since February but he goes well fresh.
Gordon Elliott, trainer of Ravenhill and Three Musketeers
Ravenhill's form is strong and he seems to run well fresh. He's got plenty of weight but we're claiming 7lb off him with Rob James. Three Musketeers would have a chance on his Kilbeggan run and he's got a nice racing weight so hopefully the ground will stay nice for him.
Willie Mullins, trainer of Cabaret Queen, Robin Des Foret and Blazer
Cabaret Queen comes here after a good third in the Galway Plate and she's run well at Listowel before. Robin Des Foret and Blazer have their chances too and we're just trying something a little different with cheekpieces on Blazer.
Edward O'Grady, trainer of The West's Awake
He ran a smashing race in the Galway Plate. He hasn't had an exactly clear passage since but he's in very good form now and it'll be interesting to see how he fares on his first try over three miles.
Eric McNamara, trainer of Internal Transfer
He ran a cracker in the race last year when fourth and if he produced a similar sort of performance this time around I'd be hopeful he can be very competitive. This has always been the plan for him.